Thomas–Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument

The Thomas–Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) is a conflict style inventory, which is a tool developed to measure an individual's response to conflict situations.


A number of conflict style inventories have been in active use since the 1960s. Most of them are based on the managerial grid developed by Robert R. Blake and Jane Mouton in their managerial grid model. The Blake and Mouton model uses two axes: "concern for people" is plotted using the vertical axis and "concern for task" along the horizontal axis. Each axis has a numerical scale of 1 to 9. These axes interact so as to diagram five different styles of management. This grid posits the interaction of task with relationship and shows that according to how people value these, there are five basic ways of interacting with others.

In 1974, Kenneth W.Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann introduced their Thomas–Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (Tuxedo NY: Xicom, 1974).


The Thomas–Kilmann Conflict Mode instrument consists of thirty pairs of statements. For each pair, the respondent must choose either the A or B item (for example, one item depicts collaborating while the other item describes avoiding). Each pair of statements was specifically designed, through a multi-stage research process, to be equal in social desirability.

The TKI uses two axes (influenced by the Mouton and Blake axes) called "assertiveness" and "cooperativeness."[1] The TKI identifies five different styles of conflict: Competing (assertive, uncooperative), Avoiding (unassertive, uncooperative), Accommodating (unassertive, cooperative), Collaborating (assertive, cooperative), and Compromising (intermediate assertiveness and cooperativeness).


  1. ^ Blake, R. (1964). The Managerial Grid: The Key to Leadership Excellence. Gulf Publishing Co. ISBN 0884152529.

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